Metal Clay Tools
Having the correct tools makes all the difference!
Just like any craft, trade or art, having the right tools can make the difference between a successful outcome and a disaster. It can also make your masterpieces easier to create and give them a much more professional look. Every metal clay artists, regardless if they are using PMC or Art Clay, should have some very basic tools. Beyond the basics there are literally hundreds, if not thousands of choices for tools. As you become more familiar with the creative process of metal clay and learn the intricacies of working with it, you will quickly start to determine which tools you need and which you prefer to work with. Every artist has to find their path and design their own method of creation. Here are a few tools and accessories and tips to get you started and a few sweet tools that the pros love!
Basic tools every metal clay artist should have...
In addition to metal clay, metal clay paste and metal clay syringe, you will need some basic tools to manipulate your creation into a work of art. Below is a short list that we suggest to get you started. All of these products along with a convenient storage bin are available in Hattie Sanderson's Tool Kit.
- Hattie's Drying Mats or Non-Stick Work Surfaces
- A Metal Clay Roller (for smoothing clay to an equal thickness)
- Double Ended Palette Knife (for shaping and manipulating)
- 6 Piece Pin Vise Drill Set (for drilling holes in clay)
- Steel Scratch Brush (for finishing your creations)
- Tissue Blade (for cutting metal clay)
- Metal Slant End Tweezers (for use when working with stones)
- Pro Needle Tool (for cutting and manipulating)
- Paint Brush (for use with paste and water)
- Plastic Tweezers (for use with Black Max)
- Emory Board (for finishing your metal clay creations)
- Hattie's No Stick™ or Badger Balm (to keep clay from sticking)
The tools listed below are suggested, but not needed just to get started.
- (to add a high shine to your creations)
- Black Max (to add an antiqued or patina look to your creations)
- RTV Mold Kit (to create molds of found items and your own creations)
- Texture Mats or Brass Texture Plates (add design elements)
- Creative Component Molds (for add-ons and use with leftover clay)
- Rubber Block (to make burnishing a scratch brushing MUCH easier)
- Clay Thickness Guides (easier to use and more accurate than playing cards)
These tools are used my many professional metal clay artists and can make the creative process easier and provide more options for how you can manipulate your work. There are many other tools and accessories that can simply the design process.
- Liver of Sulfur (add a rainbow of color to your creations)
- Rouge Cloth (buff and clean your creations to a nice shine)
- MicroCarvers™ (used to carve into bone dry metal clay)
- Rawhide Hammer or Plastic Mallet (to flatten warped work)
- Diamond Files (refine pre-fired and fired metal clay creations)
- Sanding Sticks (half round and great for rings or curved work)
- Sherri Haab's Favorite Clay Shaping Tool (that says it all)
- Lilly Punch™ (punches holes in fired metal clay pieces)
- Paste Maker™ (make smooth sticky paste)